Get Good Skin Before the Ball Drops
As luck would have it, most women seem to experience skin care problems just when they want to look their best. Every woman can relate to waking up with a huge zit right at the tip of her nose, or huge dark circles under the eyes, and the list goes on. There are pre-emptive measures one can take with less than two weeks until the New Year to ward off these skin care evils. We turned to Dr. Manish Shah, a board certified plastic surgeon in Denver who grew up in the DMV and got his medical degree from the Univeristy of Virginia, for guidance on what to do without breaking the bank or having invasive surgery.
Facial extractions by a licensed aesthetician
“When done correctly, extraction facials can clear closed comedones (AKA those tiny, flesh-colored bumps that never come to a head, yet never really go away), remove whiteheads and blackheads, and give your skin a newer, fresher foundation for your skincare products to penetrate,” Shah said. “Basically, extractions can be the kiss of life for your lifeless broken out skin.”
Drink alcohol in moderation
If you plan on ringing into 2020 with a few glasses of bubbly, Shah recommends moderating your alcohol consumption leading up to the big day. “Alcohol can dehydrate the skin and cause it to appear less fresh and vibrant, which can certainly hinder your skin care efforts,” he said.
Cleanse your face every night
You have just arrived home at 2 a.m. from a holiday party. It may be tempting to flop into bed without washing your face. Don’t do it! “Sun damage isn’t the only environmental factor you have to worry about,” Shah said. “Small micro particles from air pollutants might just hurt your skin, too. Play it safe by remembering to take a minute to cleanse your face to remove debris that could be weakening your skin. In addition, that foundation and pressed powder you have been wearing all night can clog your pores and cause breakouts.”
Want brighter, younger-looking skin? It starts with a great at home exfoliator! “As your skin replenishes itself, dead skin cells start to build up on the top layer, leaving you looking dull,” Shah said. “Exfoliating regularly removes this layer, revealing fresh, healthy skin. Regular exfoliation also allows your moisturizer and other topical products to penetrate more deeply, making them more effective.”
Clean your makeup brushes
You would not eat food on dirty dishes, would you? Applying makeup with dirty brushes is not so different. Not only will dirty brushes give you a spotty application, but they can harbor bacteria, dirt and oil, leading to acne and breakouts which necessitates piling on even more makeup to cover it up.
Don’t squeeze your pimples
Here is a secret that many supermodels and actresses use: Steroid shots. “When we discuss treating acne with cortisone or ‘steroid’ shots, we are referring to the process of gently placing a very dilute quantity of a ‘glucocorticoid’ steroid into the cyst,” Shah said. “Glucocorticoids are a class of steroid molecules that are naturally produced by our bodies and have numerous functions including the regulation of human metabolism, immunity and inflammation. They have very potent anti-inflammatory effects, so they are often used to treat inflammatory diseases in medicine. They can be formulated as creams to treat skin rashes or as pills to treat systemic disease. They can also be injected directly into local areas of inflammation such as in arthritic joints and inflamed acne cysts. Within one or two days of injection into a cyst, the steroid will shrink the inflammation producing relief of pain and almost immediate cosmetic improvement.”
Look for AHA/BHA/PHA peels that will exfoliate the skin and help release the top layers of dead skin cells allowing for a more radiant underlay to come through.
This professional treatment exfoliates at a deeper level (similar to a peel), with a mechanical handheld device that buffs away the upper layers of the skin.
Add vitamin C to your routine
Shah suggests applying several drops of vitamin C serum underneath SPF each morning to target free radical damage, help lighten brown spots and even out your skin tone.
It may seem obvious, but when it comes to dewy, glowing skin, moisturizing is essential. “When your skin is dry, it looks dull, so hydrating ingredients can help bring back that glow,” said Shah. For skin types already prone to shine, adding moisture may seem like the last thing you need, but an oil-free hydrator with ingredients like hyaluronic acid could actually help reduce your sebum production and even out slickness into a sleek glow.